Tasmanian Times

Media Release

Students Welcome Labor’s Commitment to Ending Sexual Violence

Hon Tanya Plibersek and Senator Louise Pratt this morning have announced that a Shorten
Labor Government will give a new independent taskforce strong powers to crack down on
sexual harassment and assault at universities and residential colleges. Something that NUS
along with Fair Agenda, End Rape on Campus and The Hunting Ground Australia have been
calling on the Federal Government to do since February.
“This is a win for students and survivors today. Labor has stepped forward and made a
commitment to ensuring student safety and ending sexual violence,” Says Kate Crossin, NUS
National Women’s Officer,
“Government will finally have the power to hold Universities and Residential colleges
accountable and ensure transparency in their responses to sexual assault and harassment.”
NUS, Fair Agenda, End Rape on Campus and The Hunting Ground Australia have been
working with the government on a national taskforce for months, with former Education Minister
Simon Birmingham set to announce the government’s plans in September. Of course, this all
changed after the ousting of Malcolm Turnbull and the ministerial reshuffle that saw Dan Tehan
appointed to Minister for Education.
“The Liberal government have been too distracted with party politics to do their jobs, all at the
expense of students being sexually assaulted on campus,” Says Crossin, “They should have
made this commitment months ago but instead, student safety has been pushed off the
“Students have waited too long for real action on sexual harassment and assault. Universities
have been failing for decades and it’s time for the federal government to step in and see to it
that things change,” Says Mark Pace, NUS President.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    December 1, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    Trying to contain the devastating sexual-political results of 50-60 years of indulgent libertarian deregulation and privatisation of our social infrastructure is going to take a great deal more than an after-the-fact managerial bolt-on organised from Canberra by the very same indulgent deregulators who helped create the problem in the first place.

    It is their agenda that has landed women collectively in a sexual-political situation where they and their sexuality have been turned into commodified objects that can be had on demand. The liberation offered by the so called sexual revolution was not only a squib, but it effectively blocked the only social replacement infrastructure on offer that might actually displace the old patriarchy. Deregulation and privatisation of the social system broke up its formal power structures, but left its underlying ones totally intact and much more difficult to deal with.

    And Indulgence Capitalism doesn’t do reregulation of any sort, on any terms, for anyone, ever, which is why feminism never got traction, while others whose agendas aligned with the larger one of tearing down rules-based behaviour and social boundaries prospered.

    But much worse than that, the deregulatory forces acid-burned the social securitisation software vested in social authority and handed the territory across to market forces in the name of ‘freedom’ from ‘authoritarian repression’.

    The long term damage to our social infrastructure and the interests of women in particular, meant increasing chaos and disorder, social desecuritisation, rampant adolescent narcissism and the triumph of ego over the social good. And women are the ones who got to wear most of it.

    The unhappiness and suffering of women is one of the main products of the age of indulgence, for while it might seem benign at first, it white ants the foundations of life, whether we are talking ecological, economic or social governance.

    The crisis being faced by women is much more serious than anything being done to address it, because to address it at all we have to overturn the last 60 years, go back to the basics and reconstruct our social infrastructure from the ground up, much as we are going to have to with our economy, in order that we may leave a sustainable legacy for a society worth living in.

    Feminism as an overriding social ideology is probably one of the few that could conceivably get its way without going to war. That is probably a little optimistic, but the non-secular alternatives to be found in the militant fundamentalism that is arising around the world will be making no such promise.

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